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70th anniversary of the Great Escape marked in Poland

A ceremony to commemorate the Great Escape, the famous breakout from German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft Three in 1944, took place in Zagan, west Poland.

Survivors, families and UK and Polish officials gathered in Zagan to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the escape plot.

One reenactor said: "We have great respect for all prisoners who were here"

Former prisoner of war and survivor of Stalag Luft Three, Charles Thelen, said it was "kind of a strange feeling" on seeing the camp today.

Of those who broke out of the camp, only three reached safety and of the 73 recaptured, 50 were shot.

Great Escape veterans re-visit prisoner of war camp

British Prisoner of War veterans revisit the route of a death march that claimed hundreds of Allied lives in 1945, as the world celebrates the 70th anniversary of The Great Escape.

RAF regulars and reserves stood with Charles Clarke OBE, one of the last remaining servicemen who made the treacherous journey through enemy lines.

Images via Twitter from Matt Reid RAF Cranwell.


The Great Escape tunnels seen today at Stalag Luft 3

In the spring of 1943, Squadron Leader Roger Bushell RAF conceived a plan for a major escape from the camp, which occurred the night of 24–25 March 1944 - known as The Great Escape.

The Stalag Luft 3 was a Lufftwaffe run prisoner of war camp in Poland

Martin Cross takes us on a personal walkthrough of the tunnels, named Tom, Dick and Harry.

US sailor from iconic Times Square kiss dies aged 86

Glenn McDuffie, the US Navy veteran who kissed a nurse in an iconic photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt in New York on V-Day in 1945, has passed away aged 86.

McDuffie told the Associated Press years later that he had been changing trains in New York when he heard that war was over: “I was so happy. I ran out in the street.”

“And then I saw that nurse,” he said. “She saw me hollering and with a big smile on my face ... I just went right to her and kissed her."

Glenn McDuffie battled lung cancer and reportedly lived in a Dallas suburb at the time of his death. Nurse Edith Shain died in 2010 at the age of 91.

The iconic image is known as V-J Day in Times Square, V-Day, and The Kiss. Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Getty


First electronic computer celebrates 70th anniversary

The 70th anniversary of the world's first electronic computer will be celebrated today by code-breaking veterans and their families.

Colossus Mk I - the world's first electronic computer. Credit: Peter Jordan/PA Archive

Seven decades ago today, Colossus Mk I attacked its first message written in the complex code used by Adolf Hitler and his generals during the Second World War.

Colossus was built to speed up code-breaking of the sophisticated Lorenz cipher and is regarded as the world's first digital, electronic computer.

By the end of the war there were 10 functioning Colossi machines, which had a decisive impact on the war.

To mark the anniversary, Colossus veterans and their families will gather at The National Museum of Computing at code-breaking institution Bletchley Park where they will see a re-enactment of the code-breaking process from intercept to decrypt with a working rebuild of Colossus.

Belated funeral lined up for WW2 bomber crewman

An airman whose bomber crashed into a swamp in Nazi Germany may finally receive a proper funeral, more than 70 years after his death.

Halifax bombers on a bombing raid during World War 2 Credit: Topham/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

Sergeant Roland Hill, 32, was a flight engineer on a Halifax bomber which was brought down over Germany in August 1943.

The airman, of 158 Squadron, died in the crash along with the rest of the seven-man crew. His body may now finally be removed from the murky waters north of Berlin allowing his funeral to take place.

An RAF Halifax bomber pictured during an attack on an oil plant in Germany's Ruhr Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The crash site was discovered in 2002 but German archaeologists have only just been given permission from authorities to excavate the site.

Until now, the only memorial to Sgt Hill has been an inscription of his name on the RAF's Runnymede Memorial in Surrey.

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